1849 Fairnbiarn Large Antique Print of a Mansion House Gorbals, Glasgow Scotland

Publisher : Thomas Fairbairn

  • TitleCourt of an old Manson House, Main St. Gorbals
  • Date : 1849
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition
  • Ref:  40246
  • Size: 22in x 16in (560mm x 405mm)

This beautifully coloured large folio original antique lithograph print of views of old Glasgow now long gone by the Scottish artist Thomas Fairbairn (1821 - 1885) was published by Miller & Buchanan in the 1849 edition of Relic of Ancient Architecture and other Picturesque Scenes in Glasgow.

Subject Background
This is a fine old urban manor-house on the east side of Main Street, Gorbals, opposite Malta Street, and we are enabled to set down a little of its quiet domestic annals from the courteous correspondence of the Rev. Dr. Thom, of Liverpool, one of the joint proprietors, himself a native Glasgow, and brother of the late lamented Robert Thom, Esq., British Consul at Ningpo. The front building, or at least a portion of it, was built in 1687 by George Swan, a Quaker, who came originally from Perth, and whose initials "G. S.," with the date, are still plainly readable above one of the upper windows. There are also on the same stone the initials "I. R.," which we take to represent the name and surname of the Quaker's spouse. A part of the house was damaged by the great Gorbals fire of 1749, and some additions took place soon after that period. Mr. John Campbell, smith and farrier, became the occupant of the premises somewhere between 1730 and 1740, and finally purchased the "old house" from Mr. Swan's representatives in 1749, and it remains the possession of his descendants till this day. Mr. Campbell carried on his business in the little court, which still exists. He was a highly respectable man, and his name is still inscribed on the Gorbals tablets as a great benefactor to the village poor. His first wife was a Miss Maxwell of Williamfield, and his second wife a Miss Margaret Corse, of Paisley, whom he married in 1739, and by the only daughter of this lady, who was born in this house in 1744, and who subsequently married Mr. William Falconer, of Hamilton, the property has been transmitted to the present proprietors, her descendants. This Mr Falconer was descended from Mr. William Falconer, whose fine for the affair of Bothwell Bridge is noticed in Wodrow. Many eminent Glasgow families claim kindred with him; but it is unnecessary to pursue this genealogical disquisition further. After the family ceased to use the house as a place of residence, the front portion became an inn or public house, in which capacity it was tenanted for more than half a century. The tenants are to this day humbly respectable, but they do not, of course, occupy the position in society which their predecessors did.

Relic of Ancient Architecture and other Picturesque Scenes in Glasgow, was published large folio size in 1849, containing 19 large folio coloured lithograph prints and has long since been out of print. A praiseworthy motive induced Mr. James Bogle, at one time Lord Dean of Guild, and a member of an old and highly-respected Glasgow family, to engage Mr. Thomas Fairbairn to reproduce them, before they passed into oblivion, some "Relics of Ancient Architecture and Picturesque Scenes in Glasgow." The immediate cause of Mr. Bogle's resolve was the fall of a sugar-house in Alston Street, by which some six or seven lives were lost, and a resolution on the part of the Dean of Guild Court to make a general survey of the City with a view to the removal of old houses which, from age or other causes, were considered to be unfit for habitation. Mr. Bogle naturally thought that this was the proper time to reproduce in permanent form a fair presentment of many of the noted houses of old Glasgow

Along with Mr. Fairbairn, the artist, Mr. Bogle made a tour of the City, and selected subjects for the drawings, nearly all of which are now gone, and those few that remain are so altered as to be almost irrecognisable.

A general wish having been expressed for a reproduction of the work, the publishers some time ago engaged Mr. Fairbairn (now alas! gone) to reproduce the original sketches, and also add a number of others of interest before the rapid growth of the City extinguishes or entirely defaces their subjects.

The drawings are now thirty in number, and have been reproduced by Messrs. Annan's new process of photo-engraving, which it will be observed, gives the effect of finely finished mezzo-tints.

The letterpress descriptions of the original edition are from the pen of the late Mr. James Pagan, Editor of the Glasgow Herald, and the descriptions of the new scenes have been supplied by his successor, the present Editor of that journal.

It ought to be stated that the descriptive portions, written by Mr. Pagan more than thirty years ago, have not been touched; so that readers should understand that they refer to the Glasgow of a former generation, and are all indicated in the Contents by an asterisk.

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy & stable
Paper color: - White
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Red, green, blue, brown  
General color appearance: - Authentic   
Paper size: - 22in x 16in (560mm x 405mm)
Margins: - Min 4in (100mm)

Margins: - Light soiling, small repair to margin edges
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None